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Archive for November, 2012

Wholly other

However lovely I have found creation to be, however intimate my relationships, however sweet the sound of music to my soul, however deep my experiences, your presence permeates, but you are ever separate.

You fill everything I love, yet you are so high above. Intangibly elevated. Wholly other. If I lost it all, I’d have all of you still. I’ve called you Friend, Brother, Father, Lover, but you are more. You are my closest companion, and beyond my comprehension.

You are only who you are. You are set apart. You exist outside of space and time, independent of creation. In men you do abide, but when we die you don’t lose life. You were clothed in flesh, but you are not a man. You descend, but you transcend.

We have not found a mountain to match your height or an ocean to reach your depth. We have not seen a face so beautiful or heard a voice so powerful. We have glimpsed greatness, but nothing and no one so exceedingly glorious.

Our definitions become limitations where you cannot be contained or explained. Who can know your thoughts? Yet you share yourself with us. Who could change your ways? Yet you choose to answer our prayers.

I cannot fathom you but by your revelation. I cannot feel you but by your invitation. I cannot love you unless I am loved. And oh, how I am loved..

What other God would call men his friends? What other king would become a servant? What other father would give his only son for us? What other friend would pray for his enemies? What author would write himself into a love story which required his own blood? But this is what you’ve done.

As much as I understand of you, I love. I love how you must have a heavenly tongue, and yet you speak my language. I love how you could have come blazing like the sun, but you came hidden in my flesh and blood. You bore my pale image and acquainted yourself with my pain. You stepped into my well-worn shoes and took on my heavy chains. Holiness penetrated humanity, and God demonstrated impossible grace.

You came to know me in my world, and I want to know you in yours. Beyond flesh and blood, beyond experience, beyond aesthetics. I’ve tied you so tightly to these that it might break my heart to set you apart. But if these have become a looking glass, only keeping me from seeing you everywhere else, I will let it be shattered.

Maybe your being separate from all else makes you impossible to find, but it also means you are impossible to lose, which is the greatest truth.

A holy life will make the deepest impression. Lighthouses blow no horns, they just shine.
Dwight L. Moody

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A matter of time

Becoming a Christian was the best, and undoubtedly the hardest decision I have ever made. I chose life and death in a single breath. Life to heaven, and death to all else.

My heart has found a home, but I can’t quite live there. My soul has found a mate, but he is a lifetime away.

I have found the love of my life, yet I search for him all the time. For years I’ve entertained a thought that gives me the same feeling I got when I was five and considering flying. Maybe just this once… Maybe just this once you’ll come to visit me. Maybe the moment I’m falling asleep you’ll come from heaven to kiss my head, and later pretend it was just a dream. And then I promise to keep our secret.. I have been the little girl who can’t understand why her father is gone on business for so long.

Twenty years later, my thoughts have turned to prayers and my conflict is twenty times greater. I have no idea how I am going to live my entire life so in love with Jesus while I can’t even look into his eyes, or hug him, or have an audible conversation.

Don’t get me wrong, I have experienced him with my own senses, but he is like the wind. I have stood on holy ground and I’ve seen heaven all around, but in moments I’m most unaware it turns right back to earth. I’d give anything to keep the gold from going back to dirt.

On Sunday I feel God touch my skin, and on Monday I wake up alone again. If only our meetings weren’t so fleeting, maybe I could laugh at the threat of his absence. And I know that is his promise, that he is ever present, but oh, to claim such confidence, especially in the depths. Oh, to really know Jesus.

Since this conflicted prayer has permeated the air, I have heard that still, small, sweet voice speak a word so reassuring. I was gathering with the Church in the Tenderloin before we would scatter to visit some of San Francisco’s most neglected, seemingly God-forsaken residents, when he so clearly spoke Matthew 25:40 to my soul. Leah, as you visit them, truly you visit me. And that brought peace enough to meet my need.

And then I remembered these words that he said, “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.” John 16.7

How have I known Jesus but by his Holy Spirit? If he were flesh and blood like he once was, could I love him this much? Today, he does more than hold me in his arms – he holds my very heart.

I can’t tell where I end and where he begins, and if I could, wouldn’t that mean separation? Doesn’t our deep fellowship depend on our being one? If he had a body like mine, would it take away from the Spirit I hold inside?

If he says it is better not to wish for the way things were, I must take him at his word. With the way it is, our communion is truest. Not only by senses, but by soul and spirit.

And if I’ve found myself dreaming of the way he was, known in flesh and blood, I can only imagine what is still to come.. If he has won me while he was empty, how much more while he stands full of glory?

“And behold, I am coming soon!”
Rev. 22.7

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This dance divine

I miss you. I miss you with a pain that nothing and no one can take away. It hurts too deep to admit, because it leaves me feeling desperate. But if I were saved from it, I’d lose all reason to exist.

I don’t know how I can make it through life without looking into your eyes. It’s hard to breathe deep without you by my side. I look and I search and I long and I yearn, but I grow tired. I am so tired. My soul can’t rest outside of your presence.

Every face I find, I search for your eyes. In every heartbeat I pray to find your pulse. In the midst of the many my heart longs for one. In their voices, to hear your words. In their arms, to feel your warmth.

Tears fall down my face for the times you’ve been away, though I know I am never alone. You are so close. Close enough to hear me breathe, yet a universe fills the space between. I cannot escape you, but you escape me everywhere. Just when I think I’ve found your hiding place, you slip away. Yet the moments I feel most distant you pull me in again, and I am overwhelmed.

Oh, ruined I am by the glimpses I’ve seen.. by this dance divine we’ve found ourselves in. Bits and pieces of you mean more than the world in full to me.

I can’t stop hoping for you and you alone. You and nothing else. You and nothing less. With all of creation I groan for salvation. For you to come again. For I am your beloved, and you.. you are my promise. My end. My heaven.

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